Coach: If GSP Wants Money, Fight Anderson Silva But Top Contender is Johny Hendricks

November 30, 2012
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Johny HendricksThe next fight for UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre is yet to be determined, but if he stays at 170lbs, the choice seems pretty clear to at least one guy who he should be facing.

Currently on vacation in France, St-Pierre hasn’t had much to say about what comes next for him, whether it’s a welterweight title defense or bumping up in weight to face middleweight champion Anderson Silva in a super fight.

St-Pierre’s coach Firas Zahabi however recently stated that he believes if his fighter stays at welterweight that former Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz deserves a crack at the belt ahead of current top contender Johny Hendricks.

Zahabi stated that Hendricks was deserving, but Diaz had done more and beaten more high profile opponents to stake his claim to a title shot.

In the battle of words amongst coaches, Johny Hendricks‘ coach and MMA nutritionist Mike Dolce vehemently disagrees with Zahabi’s choice.

“Johny Hendricks is the No. 1 contender in the welterweight division. He has proved that with devastating knockouts of Jon Fitch and Martin Kampmann, and he beat Josh Koscheck, sick as a dog. There’s no excuse there, Johny’s never mentioned it, but I’m going to mention it right now, when Johny fought Koscheck he was so sick and if he ever released his medical records to show how sick he was, it’s amazing he even got in the cage, fought as well as he did, and beat Koscheck,” Dolce told MMAWeekly Radio on Thursday.

“Johny’s the No. 1 contender, and I’m a huge Nick Diaz fan. I will pay to watch Nick Diaz fight every time he steps into the cage, I always root for Nick Diaz, but Nick has not beat anybody in the UFC welterweight division yet. He has not earned his shot for biggest title in the world as 170lber, Nick hasn’t earned it yet.”

If it’s strictly about numbers, Dolce has them on his side and Zahabi doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on.

Over the past 10 fights, Diaz has gone 9-1 with his only loss coming by way of unanimous decision to former interim UFC champion Carlos Condit. Impressive as the record may be, the only win Diaz holds over a top ten welterweight at the time of the fight is his knockout of former UFC and Strikeforce fighter Paul Daley.

Outside of that win, Diaz has done nothing but beat up the competition but his list is littered with names like K.J. Noons, Thomas Denny, Evangelista Cyborg, and Scott Smith. All solid veterans, but none who sit in the top ten at 170lbs.

Looking at Johny Hendricks’ record over the last ten fights, there’s a much different story to be told. He is also 9-1 with his only loss coming by decision to Rick Story, but his wins include knockouts over top ten staples Jon Fitch and Martin Kampmann, as well as a decision victory over Josh Koscheck.

Now if it comes down to a money fight, that’s where Zahabi might have a point when looking at Nick Diaz vs. Johny Hendricks as potential opponents for St-Pierre. Diaz has been a proven star and magnetic personality, while Hendricks has yet to carry a pay-per-view or even headline a UFC event during his career with the promotion.

But as Dolce points out, if it’s about money or the biggest fight possible, St-Pierre would be fighting Anderson Silva, not Nick Diaz.

If it’s about beating the best welterweight in the world, Dolce says the choice is clear and Johny Hendricks is the guy who has clearly defined himself as the top contender at 170lbs.

“If you want to talk about a money fight, if GSP wants a money fight, he fights Anderson Silva. If it’s about the money, he bumps up, he fights Anderson, and he makes the biggest payday in all of mixed martial arts history,” said Dolce.

“If he’s not fishing for that payday and he wants to defend his title, he has to defend his title against Johny Hendricks, who is the clear cut No. 1 contender. It’s the end of the story.”

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  • Cam

    Let Nick go have his way with Hendricks then if he thinks he can beat Diaz.. He will get outclassed in all areas until he gets pitter shattered.

    • guest

      hendricks would annihilate diaz

  • chuker

    I’m all for Hendricks being #1 but I’m tired of dolce and Hendricks saying GSP is afraid to fight him. Did Hendricks KO Fitch and Kampman… Absolutely! But Fitch has lousy stand up ad Kampman gets hit a ton and gets rocked in his fights on a regular basis. Compared to those 2 GSP is a whole other animal. Is GSP exploring options…of course but is the greatest welter weight of all time afraid of fighting Hendricks… Not a chance!

  • babaloo

    i aint payin to see him fight hendricks I can promise you.

  • babaloo

    story was on this guys back like a jacket and he couldnt do anything. the koscheck fight was not impressive. good luck landing the big right hand again and again and again and again????????? dont see this happening every fight.

  • Timothy Malone

    We listed Hendricks and Diaz’s win records and opponents to see who “deserves” to fight GSP. How about we list Silva’s now?

    Anderson Silva should be next.

  • dgs

    I would love to see Diaz vs Hendricks. No way Hendricks KO’s Nick the way he has done with the others, but I could very easily see Nick KO’ing Hendricks. Let the winner of those two get a definite shot at GSP, which would solve the problem of who is most deserving to fight GSP next.

    My money goes with Diaz all day long in a fight with him against Hendrick. Hendrick may be a good fighter, but he has never fought anyone like Diaz. Diaz has the best chin in the business, period. Combine that with his pinpoint accuracy striking, excellent ground ability, and you have a perfect opponent to stop the Hendricks train right in its tracks.

  • Hendricks and Diaz would make a clear contender and put an end to all this nonsense. As for GSP, I’m so sick and tired of people saying he’s afraid and their going to test his chin, and how he doesn’t finish fights, but he’s been the champ for years now and his only setback was Serra. You don’t just finish the #1 contender, not everybody is Anderson Silva. Be realistic and respectful.

    • George Sperry

      Actually GSP lost to Serra and Matt Hughes. Of course he avenged both loses impressively.

  • It’s a big chance that Hendricks will tko Diaz,I don’t dough it,Diaz leaves his guard open all the time,Diaz strikes and jabs are not as powerful and accurate as Diaz,so bye bye diaz

  • Between Diaz and Hendricks,bye bye Diaz,sorry but Diaz could not put away carlos condit,wich was an easy victory for nick Diaz

  • P.S,Gorge st pierre ain’t afraid of Hendricks,Hendricks had a heavy and powerful left hand,but not enough to put gsp away

  • $9244763

    FACT is clear GSP clearly dodged Hendricks because he saw what he did to Fitch and Kampmann something GSP didn’t even come close to doing. I’m so friggen tired of that Firaziziziziz Muhamid sticking his nose and telling the UFC what they should do and shouldn’t do. This guy is a sleazy coniving scumbag that always somehow gets his way and its getting fuc’cking old as hell. Firazzizizzi needs to be run out of MMA almsot as bad as that cheating scumbag Greg “NO ACTION” Jackson